Getting rid of Ronald Torreyes wasn’t just a move to make room on the 40-man roster. For the New York Yankees, it also showed their confidence in Tyler Wade.
The little guy. The hype man. The sports photographer’s favorite target when standing next to someone of average height. Unfortunately, that will be no more in the Bronx.
As Torreyes was scooped up by the Chicago Cubs almost immediately after hitting the trade market, the New York Yankees found themselves without a utility man. One would automatically assume that getting Torreyes off the 40-man might open up some space for someone like Manny Machado to man the infield at the start of the 2019 season.
While that could still be true, it also is opening up a huge opportunity for Tyler Wade, the speedster who has yet to find his footing in the majors.
Taking Torreyes off the 40-man made room for Parker Bridwell, who was claimed off of waivers. However, that move also showed just how much confidence management and the Yankees organization has in the up-and-coming infielder Tyler Wade.
Wade is a multi-dimensional player, able to play both infield and outfield with ease and a base-stealing threat on the base paths, something the Yankees haven’t had since Brett Gardner’s early days in the Bronx. Last year alone, Wade played six different positions in just 36 games. The problem is that during his short time in the majors, he didn’t impress.
In 36 games in 2018, Wade hit .167 with five RBI and one stolen base. For his entire time in the majors, he only has 124 official at-bats where he’s posted a .161/.218/.273 line. While he doesn’t have close to the experience of Torreyes when it comes to the majors, they’re still not promising numbers.
Wade struggled. There is so much evidence of that besides just the numbers. He can be a threat on base but he has to get on base first in order to make that happen. The Yankees have now given him the prime opportunity to do so. He will be the first name they call when an injury opens up a position.
He’s excelled overall in Triple-A, his best season coming in 2017 when he batted .310 and stole 26 bases. It has yet to translate in the majors.
Maybe with a more full-time position in the Bronx, Wade will be more comfortable and be able to perform up to his potential. But that is a big risk to take for a guy who has barely spent time in a Yankees uniform over the past few years.
But with Wade’s track record, getting rid of Torreyes seems like a huge risk … one that the Yankees were apparently very comfortable with.
They clearly have faith in their prospects and now we’ve learned that they definitely have confidence in Tyler Wade and his abilities. His last two tests in the majors have to be a fluke. Third time’s the charm. Right?
It very well could be for the 24-year-old, who will finally get a real shot at showing off his skills in the Bronx without anyone getting in his way. With Torreyes gone, the spot is now his to lose.
Tyler Wade has much to prove but he’s going to get the opportunity. The Yankees wouldn’t have gotten rid of Ronald Torreyes unless they had faith in Wade. Now it’s his time to prove that he’s worth the risk.